Forget your Euro 2020, your overpaid players, VAR and 60,000 fans (at least until Sunday) – the real football starts on Friday as the 2021/22 season is ushered in in Scotland.
The Premier Sports Cup (formerly the Betfred Cup) kicks off tonight with two matches which pair a couple of ambitious minnows who'll be looking to upset a their more illustrious opponents.
New Central Park in Fife is the venue for the first live match of the season where Dundee United are the visitors to the SPFL's newest club Kelty Hearts.
The Jambos will play in the highest tier of the 47-year history after gaining promotion to the Second Division with a Play-off win over Brechin City. Gone from the Hearts' hotseat is Rangers' former midfield maestro Barry Ferguson, replaced by Rangers' former midfield maestro Kevin Thomson. Kelty are in a hurry to climb up the league pyramid and will be keen to make a splash against Premier League opposition.
It's the kind of test that new United manager Tam Courts would rather have avoided for his first competetive match in charge. His appointment has been given a lukewarm reception by the Arabs' fans and he'll be desperate to hit the ground running.
Friday's other match sees Championship side Hamilton Accies make the trip to the capital for a tricky tie against Edinburgh City. the Accies were eventually relegated from the top flight in May and need to pick up the pieces from that disappointment. The Accies are priced at 3/4 to win with Edinburgh at 15/4 (Bet365).
Remember, these Premier Sports Cup matches are part of a sectional group stage – not knock-out games. Clubs are awarded the usual three points for a win but all drawn games in the group stage go straight to penalties – the shoot-out winners receive a bonus point. ie three points for a win, two points for a shoot-out win and one point for losing on penalties – so draws aren't the worst results for teams involved.
There's a further 13 matches in the competition to look forward to on Saturday. Can't wait!
Greg is turning a blind eye to the games in Scotland and instead is looking for a nice double in Iceland for his Bet of the Day. He's got two stats-based bets from the Icelandir second tier which pays a cool 6/5.
Heads-up for the two remaining Copa America matches this weekend. Colombia and Peru will contest the 3rd placed play-off at 1am on Saturday morning, with the big one at the same time on Sunday morning where the two great rivals, Argentina and Brazil go head-to-head for the title. Tolu has previewed both matches for us below.
Upcoming Match Previews & Tips
- Football Bet of the day: Off to Iceland on a quiet Friday
- Fri 1.30am – New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union Preview & Tips
- Fri 7.45pm – Kelty Hearts v Dundee Utd Preview & Tips
- Sat 01.00am – Colombia v Peru Preview & Tips
- Sun 01.00am – Copa America Final: Argentina v Brazil Preview & Tips
Friday's Racing Tips
Rizzel has a bumper day for us on Friday with six selections from across the card.
As always, let us know your tips and predictions for Friday in the comment section below and good luck with all your bets!